The Campaign to Protect and Restore Stamford's East Meadows has won its fight after South Kesteven District Council's planning committee voted to refuse plans for Longhurst Group to build 31 affordable homes on land off Cherryholt Road in Stamford
Campaigners have won their fight to protect a green space from housing development.
A scheme to build homes on land next to Cherryholt Road in Stamford was rejected based on flooding and road safety concerns.
The land is owned by the Cecil Estate Family Trust and Longhurst Group had applied for permission to build 31 affordable homes.
The Campaign to Protect and Restore Stamford’s East Meadows was set up to fight the plans and attracted more than 2,000 signatures to its petition.
Speaking after Wednesday’s decision meeting, campaigner Richard Cleaver said: “I am pleasantly surprised.
“A lot of people have invested time into this campaign and it’s good that we have won, but we need to make sure the protection of this area of the meadows is permanent.”
South Kesteven District Council’s planning team had recommended the plans for approval.
Planning officer Phil Jordan said the benefits of providing affordable housing outweighed the loss of green space and any possible impact on neighbouring properties.
During the vote, seven members of the planning committee were minded to refuse the plans. Three voted against the refusal and two abstained from the vote.
Much of their debate had focussed on the homes being built near a flood plain.
Coun Phil Dilks (Ind) said: “I don’t want to deny anyone a home but they have to be in the right place.
“There was a reason this site isn’t in the local plan for housing. It’s not suitable.”
As part of their fight, campaigners have applied for Cherryholt Meadows to be given village green status.
They hope this would offer further protection against development and retain the area as an open space for the public to enjoy.
The application to Lincolnshire County Council is subject to a public inquiry.
Bowman Mews resident Charlie Short said: “The long-term benefits of preserving this area can’t be overstated. It’s of ever-increasing importance, particularly for elderly people.
“It’s preservation would be for the good of generations to come.”
Stamford Town Council member David Taylor (Con), who spoke at the meeting on on behalf of Stamford Civic Society and the Neighbourhood Planning Forum, also welcomed the decision.
He said: “I’m absolutely delighted. The decision still has to be ratified at another council meeting but we are confident that will happen.”
A Longhurst Group spokesman said: “We are naturally disappointed by this decision as these proposals worked towards addressing the widely-acknowledged shortage of affordable housing in Stamford and the South Kesteven district.
“While we await members’ reasons for the refusal of the application, we do not feel it would be appropriate to comment further at this time.”